Archive for April, 2009

Separated
April 22, 2009

What is poetry? For ages it has been defined differently however in essence, it is the longing of the soul for freedom – through words! At times, the break through to freedom comes at the voice of one individual and other times, it is earned through the work of two! History recalls the events of poets who gathered near the sea banks of a far away land and while in their gatherings, such poets exchanged memories of extreme joy and heart breaks. And once there was a poet amongst them who created a poem, placed the foundation of his words into a bottle, placed the bottle into the sea, released the bottle – asking the sea to deliver his words to the individual whom his Lord had decreed for him. The sea, angry often a times, obeyed the orders of such a poet. After months of travel, the poem reached a woman on the other side of the water and when she opened the bottle, she found the words of her poet. Below are the very words he sent her on that day…

Powered by a force unseen,
moving souls – separated towards the Lord’s decree,
Once individuals alone, perhaps together they’ll be set free,
to pursue Allah’s great pleasure and enter into His mercy!

In the midst of silence,
and the darkness of night,
two souls far apart speak..!
In a foreign language that flows towards a fading light!
And time freezes,
suddenly everything feels just right.
Hearts beat,
at a on and off beat,
while the trees submit their sights to watch the decree,
and the angels stand to record
the actions of two individuals who’ve placed their case before their Lord!

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My Top Quranic Reciters
April 7, 2009

10 things that need to change for the Ummah (Part 1)
April 6, 2009

     Lets be real, things aren’t going all that well for the Muslim Ummah and although some of the trails are but tests, others have reached us because of our collective lack of contribution towards the religion of Allah. That said..I was thinking, in fact I was debating with some friends regarding what are the top ten issues that need to change in order to return respect back to the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him). In other words, what do we, as Muslims, need to do in order to return to our good old days (you know..those days when Umar would walk around with his stick in his hands but find no use for it because everyone was living in fear of Allah who can see all and knows what the hearts conceal – yeah those good old days).

     And during the exchanging of ideas between my group of friends, some of them started sharing ideas that seemed very realistic and thoughtful while another group of my friends, God knows how they came to their far-from-reality conclusions but nevertheless, important aspects of the Ummah need to change for the better. And down below are some of the ten things that I would love to see changed overnight if possible (which is highly unlikely but khyre insha’Allah…)

1) Parents need to take more responsibilities towards raising the next generation of Muslim leaders and it starts with an increased amount of  teachings of  Allah and His religion. I see too many parents sending their children off to ‘Islamic’ classes only for those kids to return to their homes and not see what their Quran teacher was preaching being practised at home. Also parents need to engage and become more aware of their children’s mindsets and needs. Being a parent doesn’t mean be a dictator, it just means be a good example and become that bridge that takes your child from a potentially ignorant lifestyle to the healthy world of obedience and eemaan. And yes I know being a parent isn’t the easiest thing in the world but that’s why there are two individuals working together in order to grant that child the best opportunity at success. And for all those single Muslim parents, may Allah reward you twice for all their struggles.

2) Muslims need to stop living like their neighbors when their neighbors are the leaders of corruption. As a Muslim we have our own values and morals, and we do not need to exchange our value system for any other man made system. Allah has said, “it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you, Allah knows but you do not know” and yes, Allah knows best, so lets take what He has given us and leave the remaining for all those who seek nothing from the hereafter.

3) Being Muslim doesn’t mean you should always be serious and not smile. In fact there are many complaints within the Muslim circles that “so and so” doesn’t look happy although he is a practising brother, and when I go and visit so and so, I find that those who’ve complained are being honest about their observations. Although in reality its a big misunderstanding because “so and so” is in fact happy but since he doesn’t smile much or engage with the people around him, he not only comes off differently but he also, indirectly that is, presents an attitude of unhappiness for many practising individuals. For example, a Muslim who is not really practising might start to believe the misconception that ‘practising’ doesn’t lead to a life of happiness because of the examples they’ve seen of other practising people. And as Muslims we need to realize that we are the representers for the religion of Allah and although it is true, the worship of Allah is by far the most important part of our lives, just don’t forget to smile and enjoy the presence of your family and friends. In other words, don’t be a robot, be happy.

4) We need to start thinking outside the box. We need to stop living our lives for ourselves and realize that we are a community connected through the religion of Allah so that means, we will forever be connected. So lets feel the pain in our hearts for those Muslims who are suffering day in and day out, and lets not submit to the ignorant “I got one life to live so I will do me” mentality that has been promoted by the West. 

5) Worship of Allah. We need to increase in it and make it sincere for Him. And by increasing the worship of Allah I don’t mean to increase the worship of Allah during times of adversity but to have that constant connection with Him who created you. The Ummah is experiencing the problems of today mainly for two reasons 1) It is a test and we just need to be patient or 2) Our sins are many. The reasons can fall under two categories but the answer is simple and only one – worship Allah more and be sincere.

6) Dignity. The Ummah needs its dignity back and we shouldn’t become content with living under any other circumstance. I heard someone say, “I would rather die with dignity then live under oppression” and I think that should become the slogan of our lives. We are Muslims and Islam is not a religion that is disgraced so why then do we agree to live in humiliation?

To be continued (insha’Allah)

Hooyo and Papa!
April 4, 2009

     If you could see my mother when she notices me walk into the room, you would quickly notice her eyes light up. Her face shines with happiness and I swear by Allah, I’ve never, not yesterday nor today, seen anyone look at me with such merciful eyes. And because of her mercy for me, I hate to disappoint her in any way. I love her so much and none of the words in the English language can illustrate the depth of my love for her. She is an amazing woman who often reminds me of Allah. I remember when I use to live at home and during some dark parts of the night when my siblings and I would be engaged in conversations, and while the rest of society were in the comfort of their beds, I would see my mother engaged in some act of worship. And once, during the later parts of re-memorable night, as I laid paranoid in my bed, I heard some noise coming from a different section of the house. And being the curious soul I am, I rose out of my bed and started my investigation of who and what was the causing that particular noise. And as I slowly made my way towards the source of noise, I heard some light crying coming from the dinning room. That night, I saw my mother standing in front of Allah, humble and aware of her Creator, pouring to Him her heart’s pain. I watched her stand and as I listened to her recite the ayaats of the Quran to Him who revealed them, and when she had completed her prayer I came from behind her and wrapped her with my arms, holding her tight, granting her a safety zone to cry in. I’ve never seen my mother cry to the extent she did on that night and although I would never want to see her cry again because I attribute tears to pain; I understood such tears were for Allah and I would pleased if she cried often to her Lord. That was several years ago and since that emotional night, my mother and I have grown so much closer. We share a very down to earth relationship and on many occasions I fire left and right, releasing my share of jokes hoping to make her smile. Sometimes I challenge her to a game of basketball knowing the fact that she’s never played a single match in her entire life, and in return she counters that challenge with one of her own – facts based upon the history of Somali poetry which I know very little about.

     Naturally I’m a happy person and now that I’m away from home, whenever my mother feels down and needs a lift, or if she’s just low on jokes, she picks up the phone and gives me a call. And just the other day she called me and in the midst of our conversation she asked, “what did you eat all day..?” and I was like nothing much although I’m craving for secret dish and right then and there, we spent close to two hours on the phone as she walked me through the steps needed in preparing her secret dish. May Allah be pleased with our parents.

     As for my father, what can I say about him? He is the foundation of my love, the vain that pumps blood into my heart and the center of my soul. And although he is located on the other side of the water, his remembrance serves as fuel for my cold lonely days. And when I think of the Jannah Allah has promised the believers, and if I should enter it, I always envision walking through the gates of paradise holding my wife with my right hand and my father with my left hand as I watch my mother walk in front of me. Perhaps one day my envision may become reality.